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7 Photo Challenges for You to Join in the New Year

Updated: Mar 26

Today is as good a time as any to hone your photography skills, particularly your film photography skills.


Maybe getting a hobby is one of your New Year's resolutions, or maybe you've been a film photography enthusiast for as long as you know it. Regardless, there are plenty of ways for you to keep practicing your skills, and joining photo challenges is certainly one!


So here are a few photo challenges for you to join in the new year.


1. Join (or organize) a photo walk event


What's a photo walk, you ask? A photo walk is exactly what it sounds like. You take your camera with you and join a group of people to go on a walk with the purpose of taking photos of things that interest you. It's a fun way to socialize with other film photography enthusiasts, and it could also work wonders if you're in a rut and in need of some inspiration.


Some photo walks, like this one, for example, are more organized than others, with prizes even available for best photos. But some are super chill and relaxed and can be found in different parts of the world wide web. And if you can't seem to find any event in your area, why not organize one?


A group of photographers capturing a moment

2. Recreate iconic photos


That iconic photo of Marilyn Monroe in her white dress, and that shot of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston, why not recreate these photos as a fun way to get inspired? You can go big if you want and source your costumes properly and find a fitting background for the photos as well. But you could also easily take the more budget-friendly way of getting creative and working with what you have.


Aside from the fun of recreating the costumes for the shots, this is also a great way for you to better understand angles in photography. After all, it wouldn't be the same iconic photo of Marilyn if taken from a different angle ;)


3. Capture everyday life


Yes, yes, everyday life can be boring. Wake up, brush your teeth, drink your coffee, and off to work you go. But vacations only come once in a while, and my camera would certainly be done and dusted by now if I only take it out when I have a ticket to Bali in hand. Most of the time, what is available for us to capture is essentially what we see and experience every day, and we should capture that. Having this mindset not only challenges us to find photo-worthy moments in our everyday life, but it could even help us appreciate the beauty in it. As a matter of fact, this is actually one of the top reasons to shoot with a film camera in my opinion.


There are so many photos I've seen from some of my favorite photographers that capture not a trip to the Bahamas, or a red carpet event at some fancy schmancy venue, but of socks..., their laundry, or their child doing homework. It is when you've managed to capture your *boring* everyday life and make it look interesting in photo, that you know you've succeeded.


Laundry hanging to dry

4. Take photos of strangers


For me, taking photos of strangers can be an extremely intimidating thing to do. So many photo-worthy moments have passed me by simply because I could not gather the courage to stop, ask for permission to take a photo, and take the damn photo. If you're anything like me, this could certainly be a good and beneficial challenge for you.


Start by setting a goal for yourself. Perhaps one photo a day is a good start for you, or if you're feeling ambitious, maybe you could set a time period, say a week or a few days, where you never let your fear of approaching strangers get in the way of capturing a moment. Try it out for a while and you might even ditch the "Stranger Danger" approach after some time.


5. The "Ugly Location" challenge


This one takes the everyday life challenge to a whole new level. See a location that is "ugly"? That's your cue to take up your camera and capture a moment with the so-called "ugly" location as a backdrop. Think of the tools and appliances aisle at Home Depot, or the parking lot at IKEA. Even the most unappealing locations can result in great shots with the right camera and photographer.


A boy staring out into Spinola Bay in St. Julian's, Malta

6. Experiment with double exposures


This one goes specifically for film photographers out there. If you've never tried it, take this as a sign to experiment with double exposures. You simply finish a film roll, and then you load the same roll again into your camera, creating a double exposure of all the shots. You should definitely expect some crazy and kooky results, but that's the fun of it! Have fun, don't think too much, and just shoot.


7. Create a photo zine


Last but not least, try challenging yourself by creating a photo zine. This is your chance to curate your photos in an aesthetically pleasing way. You can come up with some themes and group your photos accordingly. You can also add some commentary to the photos you took. And not to worry if words aren't your forte. After all, it's not a challenge if it doesn't get you out of your comfort zone ;) Putting some commentary will likely even give some more insight into your photo-taking process, and enlighten your future processes.


A camera on top of a photobook

Well, there you have it. 7 Photo challenges for you to join in 2023. Hope they enrich your photography experience and help you practice your skills further. If not, then at least try to have some fun with it!


Found other fun and exciting photo challenges? Comment down below and share your ideas with the rest of us!

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